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Clint hangs on "Applying Computer Settings"

We have a SBS2003 with 4 client machines connected via hard-wired lan with 1 GB Network cards and switch. The server has 1 network card for the LAN and another for the ADSL modem (uses ISA as firewall).

Cients all running Win XP Pro SP3

Initially 2 clients were on the network and running fine. We then added a computer to the network. Initially it was very slow "applying computer settings" before the logon dialog appeared but seems to be normal now. We have just added the 3rd machine and it is doing the same thing but hangs for 20-30 minutes before it displays the logon dialog. When we can eventually get onto the machine it appears to be running on the netwrok ok but any time we do a re-boot this huge delay occurs.

I am a newbie to server and active directory etc so please keep solution in layman's terms if possible. (stpe by step instruction would be ideal).

Any help much appreciated.
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orbitcoms
Asked:
orbitcoms
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1 Solution
 
Delphineous SilverwingGood Ol' GeekCommented:
The machine may have a bad network connection or it is having an issue with names resolution.
Make sure DNS is enabled on the Server and the PC's are using the server for DNS.
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orbitcomsAuthor Commented:
I set the DNS same as the other client machine that points to the server but this has not fixed the issue.

If I boot with network cable unplugged and log on to local machine it is fine. If I then plug the network back in then it works fine till I reboot. I can access the server files and programs based on the server no problems. I can surf the net fine but still get this hanging up on "Applying computer settings" during any reboot.
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Keith AlabasterEnterprise ArchitectCommented:
How did you add the new computer to the network? Did you use the Add Computer wizard then join it to the doamin etc through the web browser or did you manually add it using the traditional Windows method?
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orbitcomsAuthor Commented:
First I tried //server/connectcomputer wizard. This had the same issue. Then I removed the account for the machine, disconnected the machine from the domain (set it back to "workgroup" and rebooted.
Next I manually attached to the domain and rebooted but same issue.
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Delphineous SilverwingGood Ol' GeekCommented:
While the machine was in Workgroup mode, was the startup faster?
Try copying a large file from the server to the computer with the problem and copy the same file to a computer without the problem.  Is there a significant time difference in the copy?
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orbitcomsAuthor Commented:
Yes, when workgroup the machine started up and log on was normal.

Cannot notice any performance issue transferring files between this machine and others.

This same problem happened the other day while attempting to connect a different machine but after trying to apply settings for about an hour, it finally connected and boots ok now.

But this machine has not yet sorted itself out. I am suspecting some setting at the server as 2 different machines have shown the same characteristics (unless it has something to do with SP3 of windows xp pro ?)
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Delphineous SilverwingGood Ol' GeekCommented:
Was the machine built from an image?
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orbitcomsAuthor Commented:
No, from the Windows CD
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Delphineous SilverwingGood Ol' GeekCommented:
My next step would be to make sure all drivers are current, uninstall the anti-virus and other security software, then reinstall Service Pack 3.  (Put AV and security back on after SP3 install)
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